Isn’t it amazing that we know so little about the world’s cuisine?
We are more ‘global’ than ever before. We can pick up a telephone and speak to someone in any town or city in the world. We communicate every day with people in other countries via email. Using the internet, we can learn about other cultures from the source.
So many households have a TV turned on during every waking hour that the house is inhabited. We have probably traveled to more countries than our great-grandparents even knew existed.
So why do we know so little about each other?
This is my topic du jour because I am increasingly finding that people have the most bizarre ideas about other nations and what they eat. (Remember the story of the American boy in Italy for the first time? “Hey mom, they’ve got pizza here!)
I even found a page on the internet entitled Is it safe to eat foreign food? And another site referred to the Olive Garden as a place selling foreign food.
You can test this yourself just by asking a few people around you (even if you ARE in a foodservice environment!) about a couple of foreign cuisines. What do people eat in Poland? What are the most common breads in Pakistan? How would you serve prunelle? What is a pamplemousse?
An amusing one to research on the internet is, as I found recently, British food. It proved yet again that the internet is full of extremely erroneous information. This is dangerous though, as this ‘information’ is given as fact. Under a photograph of a family having a meal, I found the following:
After lunch the father will smoke his pipe and read the newspaper sitting on his favourite armchair while his wife washes the dishes. The children will play traditional English games such as hopscotch, skipping or doctors and nurses.
On what planet?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR